5 Solar Industry Trends to Watch in 2022
Over the past few years, it seems there’s been no end to global events that negatively affect all industries. However, renewable energy and solar power have been unique industries that have shown tremendous growth, despite the happenings around the world. In fact, from 2015 to 2020, the solar market share grew at a compounded average annual rate of 15 percent. But what’s in store for solar in 2022? Why are solar panels worth it now?
1. Introducing AI
Sectors that have introduced AI have had their turn and are reaping the rewards. It seems that 2022 is the year for solar to have its turn.
The solar industry has seen tremendous innovations by integrating AI into its products. It’s currently being used to forecast energy demand like a weather report and manage energy distribution so homeowners will have power at all times.
Having AI manage energy distribution as efficiently as possible is a game-changer for the industry. This is because energy can’t be stored for extended periods, depending on the system design.
2. Declining Costs and Increased Affordability
Unlike smartphones and laptops, which seem to cost more with each passing year, the cost of solar technology is on a steady downward trend.
You could argue that the steady decline of its cost is due to the mass adoption of this technology by both businesses and homeowners. However, it also helps when the Department of Energy plans to cut solar costs by at least 60 percent by 2030.
The solar industry’s tremendous support is due to the already falling costs of solar and the increased scalability year over year. It’s not only the innovations in solar panels that have gotten cheaper to manufacture but also concentrated solar power systems.
3. Improvements to Solar Panel Durability
In the early days of renewable energy systems, the technology was unreliable and ineffective on its best day. This, coupled with the massive upfront cost to install a solar power system, made it not worth looking at for many.
However, every type of solar power system, from grid-tied to an off-grid solar system, has seen massive improvements in durability and effectiveness. In fact, the mass adoption of solar technology has pushed companies to continue developing innovative features and working to improve overall durability so people can use their system for many years without worry.
Although the improvements will help reduce maintenance costs for households, large businesses will truly experience the benefit.
4. Increased Demand and Solar Job Growth
There is increased demand to integrate solar into other products with innovations to off-grid solar systems and every type of solar panel grid-tie kit. Currently, consumers can benefit from the cost-savings of using solar-powered outdoor lights for general decoration and to power massive displays on their homes. Additionally, with the increased demand for solar products, the industry has seen a market interest for solar-powered chargers for electric vehicles and even solar-powered vehicles.
2022 is shaping up to introduce a wide selection of solar products to meet consumer demands. Of course, with this substantial increase in demand comes an increase in demand for solar professionals. As solar-power systems begin to integrate into products independent of a larger installation, the industry will see a demand for professionals with niche solar knowledge. Soon enough, there will be more installations than professionals who know how to install, maintain and repair.
5. Utilizing Tax Credits and Climate Change Concern
Governments on a federal and local level around the world are increasingly aware of the risks of current energy production methods. If there’s anything science has shown the world, it’s that the world is rapidly becoming unhabitable. This has led to a global initiative to slash carbon emissions by any means necessary. One method is to provide people and businesses with financial incentives to make the switch.
One of the most well-known incentives within the U.S. is the federal solar tax credit or the investment tax credit (ITC). However, it’s a tax credit with a time limit. When it was originally proposed, those who installed solar power systems could claim up to 30 percent of the cost on their federal income taxes. However, that number has fallen to 22 percent until 2023 and will be unavailable in 2024. This is unless Congress decides to renew the act before it expires.
As soon as U.S. consumers realize that the federal solar tax credit is set to expire in 2024, there will likely be a steady increase of consumers signing up with F.O.M.O of taking advantage of all solar incentives on a federal, state and local level.
2022 will also likely see more businesses make the switch to renewable energy due to consumer pressure. What started as switching from plastic to paper bags has changed to consumers demanding more green initiatives from companies they support.
Solar in 2022
The solar industry and renewable energy have made a quantum leap over the past decade. 2022 continues to signal strength for the industry and shows no signs of slowing down in the near future. In fact, the world may soon look like an eco-friendly scene you’d only have imagined finding in a quality sci-fi novel. Either way, no matter the motivation, it’s clear it’s getting increasingly difficult to say no to solar.